Interview by Louisa Buck
Miya Browne (born 1997 in London, lives and studies in London) graduated in 2020 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Mixed Media from the University of Westminster and is studying for an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art between 2020-22. Of their paintings Brown states: “rejecting colour and femininity I choose to use an achromatic palette… Domestic feminine abilities are present in my use of multitasking, exploring areas of gender and race through ‘blackness’ and ‘masculinity’ – performing, embodying painting. Man-spreading my female form, taking on the archetype of an ‘artist,’ my work questions Euro-patriarchal knowledge and the female gaze.”20 years into the 21st century, what is the role of art and the artist?
The requirement for the current culture of the 21st century is to have an online presence. Now it is equally important as physical interactions. The way we function as a society determines how art is accessed, and that can be online and/or in a gallery setting. As we move forward we are regressively losing our access with algorithms and echo chambers – what we see is determined by a computer. The role of art now is to be more inclusive and broaden the playing field for those that would have been previously marginalised. Art is there as a reminder of our sanity, it is omnipresent and can do that thing when your hairs stand up on the back of your neck and you feel all tingly inside. With the unpredictable nature of climate crisis and pandemics, the artist must adapt. To be an artist is to question, to think differently to others and pluck out something from the universe and create a language.
What are your hopes for the future as an artist?
The future is to continue to broaden the playing field and for art to be accessible. Institutions will hopefully find a balance between theory and practice and traditional craft. The arts as a sector will have the same status as national heritage buildings and essential workers. Exhibitions will be curated for the inclusive gaze and publicly run galleries will be the new craze. Artists and designers will be contributing to building greener towns and cities. The future is GREEN, multi-racial and fluid!
Header: Miya Browne. Photo: @myowneyephotography
1. Miya Browne, Big Black Fuck Off Painting, 2020 @blckgeezer
2. Miya Browne. Photo: @myowneyephotography
Louisa Buck is a writer and broadcaster on contemporary art. She has been London Contemporary Art Correspondent for The Art Newspaper since 1997. She is a regular reviewer and commentator on BBC radio and TV. As an author she has written catalogue essays for institutions including Tate, Whitechapel Gallery, ICA London and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 2016, she authored The Going Public Report for Museums Sheffield. Her books include Moving Targets 2: A User’s Guide to British Art Now (2000), Market Matters: The Dynamics of the Contemporary Art Market (2004), Owning Art: The Contemporary Art Collector’s Handbook (2006), and Commissioning Contemporary Art: A Handbook for Curators, Collectors and Artists (2012). She was a Turner Prize judge in 2005.